It seems to me that when you are moving to some place relatively far away it opens you up for nearly as many questions and as much unsolicited advice as when you are pregnant! So you announce your pregnancy and it starts, you need to breastfeed, sleep now while you can, let your baby cry it out, the list goes on. If you have ever been pregnant or had a new little baby in your life you know exactly what I mean. I have found with moving to Louisville from New Jersey it is pretty much the same. So in an effort to laugh a little I have constructed a little list of common questions, what they mean and how I would like to answer them.
You are moving?
Where are you going?
Yes that would be the place. Sometimes Kentucky is followed by jokes about teeth, banjos, overalls and goats. Which sometimes are funny and at times annoying and generalizing. I must say New Jersey dwellers have way more of a superiority complex than I ever knew. Also I will take a moment to point out, that while visiting, we saw not one of the stereo types.
Have you ever been there?
Yes for three days. We are still taking the risk!
This one has many variations. Why Louisville? What the hell is in Louisville? Why the hell would you want to go there? Sorry it seems "why the hell" is just a standard part of NJ speak. Really Kentucky?
What they really mean here is have you thought this through? No one actually says that though. The answer to that question is yes, we have been thinking and PRAYING about this for nearly a year.
Well, I can finish my education there. Oh and I think we might want to learn to play the Banjo. Why the hell would you want to stay in overpriced, over crowded NJ?
Yes. If I just go to school my whole life I never have to grow up and it will fuel my Peter Pan complex. Isn't that amazing? I know for some older generations the idea that I am married AND have a child eliminates me from going to any more school. Good thing I am not part of that generation. If you really must know the truth, my BA was just a step along the way I need my Master's Degree to make it worth anything because of the nature of the study of religion. Also, and I know this is hard for a lot of people I really believe that this pursuit of higher education is a part of God's call on my life. I can't answer like that because you will freak out and think I am in a cult.
Aren't there schools here?
Meaning, are you sure you want to leave?
Yes there are. They are much more expensive and lack the specialization I need. Also we have wanted to leave NJ again for the past ten years. We will take the opportunity to get out now. We seriously can't afford to live here.
Where will you live?
Again the meaning here is, have you thought this through. We will live in a cardboard box a large one that will fit us. In bad weather we will live under a bridge for more shelter. Kentucky has some really nice bridges.
What will you do with the dog?
Really is this any of your business? Well she's getting old so I think we will skin her and make her into a rug. Listen now I know that for some people when they get tired of their pets they give them away. We have a marriage like commitment to our animals. We are in it for the long haul. We won't give them up. We call them our furry babies. The only animals we have ever given away were birds, twice I might add, so we won't have birds again. That being said Trinity has been with us for 10 years and moved with us every time. We will make room for her in our cardboard box!
Are you taking the cat?
Why do you care,do you secretly want my cat? I didn't go out looking for a cat. However, I have cared for, fed and loved DJ since 2007. He is a part of our family and we will make room for him in the box as well. I just want you to know how incredibly absurd it is to me that anyone thinks we wouldn't take our furry babies. There are places you can live with them and we will seek those places out.
What will you do with the baby?
I am not sure of the meaning under this one. I am hoping it isn't you crappy selfish mother. Maybe it is another have you thought this through. Well we have had her for almost 2 years now, I think we will give her up for adoption. We are tired of her anyway. No really, what does this question mean? Of course we will take her with us we made room in the box for everyone else! We may have to find some childcare to cover a few hours a week when we both need to be out. That's all. I can tell you what I won't do with the baby and that's put her in daycare. School yes, daycare is still a no.
Aren't you going to miss everyone? Your Family?
This really means how can you leave me. Again this isn't your business. However, yes I will miss lots of wonderful people. Especially but not limited to my nieces and nephews. I don't see my family all that much because we are all grown and busy and half of us live in other states. So not much is changing. I don't see my friends that often either as most of them live in other states. Think of all the new friends we have yet to make. I will miss my church family too. We have facebook and skype and a million other ways to keep in touch. Let's be honest we also have cars, buses, trains and planes. Travel in the US is doable, so we can visit and you can visit too.
Are Paul and the baby going with you?
Nope. I am leaving them all behind for the next three years and living like a single woman, while Paul works from home and raises the baby. Then when I am done I will come back and just warp right back into family mode and there will be no resentment at all.
What will Paul do for work? (Why does this matter to you? We already told you we are living in a box. Rent is cheap so are utilities.)
Well I guess we should come clean. Paul has been taking some side jobs already as a pole dancer and occasionally a male prostitute. It isn't glamorous work, he feels dirty and shameful. He thinks God might smote him at any minute. However the money is fantastic so he is going to open his own business, maybe he can pimp out his male friends.
What will your Mom do with the house?
Set it on fire she is tired of it and way too lazy to sell it. Why don't you ask my mother? It's her house!
What will you do with your furniture?
Um, I am tempted to ask here like with the cat, why do you want some of it? Well some of our furniture we are taking with us. Some of it we will sell before we go. Recently Paul mentioned that we weren't taking the couch or chairs we have. We would be taking just our futon. I should mention that when I say we have a couch and chairs, that we essentially garbage picked them off of family who was going to toss them and then artfully covered the mismatched patterns with large sheets from IKEA. So it's not like we have a high end living room set. When Paul said this the response was where will you sit? Um you can sit and actually lay and sleep on a futon. The box doesn't have a lot of room so we don't want to over stuff it.
Are you taking both cars?
Really seriously how is this your concern? I am going to say not likely. It would be more expensive to move them both out there. We will be placing our box on campus. I won't need a car as much since I can walk to what I need. If we find we need a second car we will buy a beater out there.
Believe it or not we have really thought this through. Yes we are nervous and scared. Yes we will miss people terribly. We might even miss some places. It's true that we don't really know anyone out there yet. I can tell you people have been coming up to me in church left and right because they have family near there. I also met a ton of staff when I visited last year. We have started a network to get us started. Like I said early we have prayed about this. God's call for me is very strong and doesn't let up. I can't ignore it any longer and let's be honest I have for a long time. That is all part one.
Part two is I (we) have to make decisions that are best for our family and no one else. Yes the transition will be hard. However we are teaching our daughter too, that being a mother doesn't mean your life stops, that it's never too late to seek out education and that sometimes even if scary you have to take some risks. I think this one is really important, your family will still love you and you can still love them even from far away. This decision will ultimately give her a better life. It will open the doors to many experiences. I am hoping it teaches her to be a well rounded woman too. It will also allow us to increase our income a little and make life more comfortable. We might even finally be able to give what we would like to many wonderful charitable causes in the end.